Newswise — The American Thyroid Association (ATA) supports and celebrates the 7th Annual World Thyroid Day, May 25, 2014.
International thyroid societies, including the American Thyroid Association (ATA), the European Thyroid Association (www.eurothyroid.com), the Asia & Oceania Thyroid Association (www.aothyroid.org), and the Latin American Thyroid Society (www.lats.org), recognize and celebrate the 7th Annual World Thyroid Day, May 25, 2014.
In recognition of World Thyroid Day, Dr. Hossein Gharib, ATA President, says “Thyroid disorders are very common worldwide and, by recent World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, affect approximately 750 million people. The ATA hopes that this campaign raises awareness about thyroid disorders and facilitates diagnosis and treatment of subtle, early thyroid disease.”
Established in 2008, World Thyroid Day highlights five major goals to:
o Increase awareness of thyroid health,
o Promote understanding of advances made in treating thyroid diseases,
o Emphasize the prevalence of thyroid diseases,
o Focus on the urgent need for education and prevention programs, and
o Expand awareness of new treatment modalities.
The thyroid gland, butterfly-shaped and located in the middle of the lower neck, produces hormones that influence every cell, tissue and organ in the body. The thyroid hormones regulate the body's metabolism—the rate at which the body produces energy from nutrients and oxygen—and affects critical body functions, such as energy level and heart rate.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid) include fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, irregular menses and weight gain. Treatment of hypothyroidism is usually a synthetic form of thyroid hormone called “levothyroxine.” Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, unexplained weight loss, sleep disturbances, vision problems and eye irritation. Graves’ disease, one type of hyperthyroidism, is an autoimmune disorder that is partly genetic. Patient education on both conditions is on the ATA website at http://www.thyroid.org/patient-thyroid-information/.
The thyroid also has a great impact on women’s health during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the thyroid gland produces up to 50 percent more thyroid hormone as compared to when a woman is not pregnant; therefore, chances of developing hypothyroidism during pregnancy are increased. The ATA recommends that women at high-risk for thyroid disease should be tested early in their pregnancy.
Thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing form of cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute reported 44,670 new cases of thyroid cancer in 2010. When thyroid cancer is identified and treated early, the majority of patients can be completely cured. Thyroid cancer must be distinguished from benign thyroid nodules, which are common in the population. Links to management guidelines for thyroid cancer are at http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-guidelines/.
Dr. Leonidas Duntas, chairman of the educational board of the ETA, emphasizes that “this year’s commemoration of World Thyroid Day pays special tribute to our patients around the world and to the doctors who treat them.”
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization with over 1,400 members from 43 countries around the world.
Celebrating its 91st anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology, VideoEndocrinology and Clinical Thyroidology for the Public; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease.
More information about ATA is found at www.thyroid.org.